Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

World Cup Preview - Group E - Switzerland

Nickname: “Schweizer Nati”

Absurd FIFA ranking: 8th! (The Swiss are apparently a better side than are England, France and the US!)

Coach: Grim German boss Ottmar Hitzfeld

Game Schedule:
June 15 – Switzerland vs. Ecuador (Brasilia, 12:00 p.m. EST, ABC)
June 20 – Switzerland vs. France (Port Salvador, 3:00 p.m., ESPN)
June 25 – Switzerland vs. Honduras (Manaus, 4:00 p.m., ESPN2)

Prospects: Switzerland swept through the UEFA qualifying rounds in a weak group with such aplomb that the FIFA nabobs have elevated them to the absurd position of 8th in the world, above their group opponents France. This would seem to suggest that Ottmar Hitzfeld's side will have no trouble qualifying from a relatively weak Group E. But not so fast: as usual the Schweizer Nati are stingy at the back but have a lot of difficulty putting the ball into the big rectangle at the other end of the pitch. That center back Fab Schaer was their top scorer in qualifiers is quite an indictment of the Swiss strikers, who are an anemic bunch.

Key Player: Bayern's attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaquiri is the most dynamic Swiss player of his generation.

Youngster to watch: I'll be interested in watching 22 year-old Real Sociedad striker Haris Seferovic, who has only just broken into the side but is Hitzfeld's preferred striker. He's only got one goal in ten starts but the Swiss will be leaning on him in Brazil.

Who Will Get the Goals: Headers from set pieces are Switzerland's best hope for goals; with Schaer out of the picture, the goals will have to come from Arsenal old-boy Johan Djourou.

Who Will Get the Cards: Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio is prone to rush out of his goal when the mood strikes. That could be fun to watch.

Funniest Name: Borussia midfield Granit Xhaka.

Prediction: Edged out in the group stage by a dark horse Ecuadorian team.


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